Michael Jordan draws big crowd after catching 442-pound marlin at North Carolina fishing tournament

Michael Jordan thrives on competition. This is no secret.

The Charlotte Hornets owner and NBA icon took his competitive urges to the coast of North Carolina on Tuesday and hauled in a massive catch at the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

According to multiple reports, Jordan and the crew of his 80-foot “Catch 23” fishing boat reeled in a 442.3-pound marlin. When he returned to dock with his catch, a large crowd was there to greet him.

Big money at stake

Not surprisingly, Jordan doesn’t sound satisfied with the catch. The fish was the fifth-largest of the tournament since it began on Monday and wasn’t eligible for top-three prize money in the $3.3 million tournament that also pays prizes for wahoo, tuna and dolphin fish.

It sounds like he’s going back out for more.

“I would love to be back with a little bit bigger fish,” Jordan said, per the Associated Press.

The biggest catch carries with it a $1.1 million top prize. Last year’s winner hauled in a record catch of 914 pounds.

The first boat to haul in a 500-pound marlin receives a $550,000 prize. So far the biggest catch was 494 pounds, according to AP.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the blue marlin as a vulnerable species. National Geographic notes that they are prized for sashimi in Japan and popular targets among sport fishers. It is not clear what portion of the marlins caught in the tournament are released. According to ABC 12, marlins that are boated are donated to the North Carolina State Marine Lab.

Michael Jordan hauled in a massive marlin before greeting a throng of supporters at a North Carolina fishing tournament. (AP file photo/Gerry Broome)

The tournament has been running in the coastal town of Morehead City since 1957 and features 205 boats from around the world, according to AP.

This is the first time Jordan’s participated. After the weigh-in, Jordan reportedly stuck around for pictures with fans who are clearly more excited about meeting their idol than they are concerned about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that’s peaking in North Carolina.

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